Even with the U.S. Supreme Court’s landmark ruling in Obergefell v. Hodges in 2015, the family laws governing LGBTQ families are still murky to many. This is especially true when it comes to child custody matters. Many LGBTQ couples often start their families through adoption, artificial insemination or surrogacy, and the laws governing these practices and family systems in general are still catching up to the marriage equality ruling.
Even in the face of divorce or separation, most parents can agree on one thing: they want to minimize the impact their split will have on their kids. A good way to accomplish this is to explore alternative dispute options like mediation or collaborative divorce. These processes are designed specifically to help couples work out their differences through discussion and negotiation. Those who take advantage of these processes often obtain outcomes that better suit their family’s unique needs, because they had a say in how matters were settled.
Over the past five to ten years, we, as a society have modified the ways in which we communicate. People are no longer writing letters or having to pick up the phone and call someone in order to stay connected. Rather, people can now post significant life events with a large group of individuals in less than five seconds. Social media and online accounts allow us to stay connected with our loved ones, or even not so loved ones, and see on an almost hourly basis what someone is doing, who they are with, what they are liking, and how they are feeling. As such, social media postings and accounts have become a big issue in legal proceeding, especially those involving family law issues. We put all types of information on our Facebook, Instagram and Twitter feeds including personal and lifestyle posts.
Legal proceedings including those involving parenting time and divorce have a legal starting point. This usually involves preparing legal documents which are filed with the court and served on the other party.
We often get questions from family law clients about whether you actually have to disclose everything in a proceeding - whether a divorce or a parenting time matter. The answer is that yes, you do have to disclose a significant amount of information and you have to do it without the other party even asking for that information.
A recent study presented by the Pew Research Center sheds some light on the decline of international adoptions. International adoptions in 2016 were down 77% from the peak in 2004. In addition, boys outnumber girls in international adoptions for the first time.
Domestic abuse can take many different forms. Abuse can be physical, emotional and even financial. Financial abuse can involve one spouse exerting an inordinate amount of control over the family finances. This economic control serves to keep the other spouse from taking action to become independent forcing a dependency on the controlling spouse.
When you have children, you worry about them. Sometimes your worries are rational and sometimes irrational. Every parent has worried about their child being kidnapped and usually the fear is one of a stranger kidnapping. The fact is, however, that children are more likely to be kidnapped by someone whom they know well - a parent.
When you start interviewing attorneys for your family law matter, you may realize that the attorney is also asking questions to make a determination of their own. Attorneys want to make sure that the attorney-client relationship is a good fit for both the represented party and the lawyer. This is a good practice because both parties are better off when they take steps to fully evaluate any potential issues that may arise during the representation.
Within the family law community, there are attorneys and other professionals who advocate for "fathers' rights" in divorce and custody proceedings. The existence of this movement comes from a perception that mothers have an advantage in family court proceedings. This perception, while it may be more exaggerated in some locations than others, is one which many family law professionals work hard to counter.